Do This, Not That!

by Colleen Morgan, PT, MS, OCS, CSCS

Whether you are a weekend warrior or competitive athlete,

a life-long “gym rat” or exercise newbie, it’s important to know which gym exercises are worth your time and energy.  Learn what exercises most physical therapists would categorize as worthless (perhaps even downright dangerous) and explore some healthy alternatives in our recurring blog column “Do This, Not That!”

Do This!

Not That!

Lunges help to improve quadriceps strength using a functional movement pattern your body may use throughout the day.  You can vary the degree of knee bend depending on your comfort level and stability.  Since you are standing, you are also working on your balance and core stability.  If you’ve mastered your forward lunges, progress to lunges in multiple directions. Seated knee extensions against resistance.  Upon mentioning this popular exercise to a physical therapist, expect their reaction to include the following: redness of the face, difficulty speaking, and spontaneous combustion.  Okay, so that’s an exaggeration, but if you know anything about the knee joint, you will loathe this exercise.  Seated knee extensions against resistance isolate your quadriceps, but put unnatural, excessive load and stress on your patellofemoral joint and ACL, which can lead to knee pain and injury.
 Lunge
 Seated Knee Extension Machine
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